Palestinian leader: Moving Israel embassy could jeopardize peace process

Palestinian leader: Moving Israel embassy could jeopardize peace process
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE’s plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could compromise peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian leader said Saturday, according to The Associated Press.

"We hope that this news is not true because it is not encouraging and will disrupt and hinder the peace process," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said during a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican to inaugurate the Palestinian embassy there.

The U.S. has long recognized the coastal city of Tel Aviv as the official capital of Israel, while the Israeli government claims Jerusalem as the country’s capital.

But Trump suggested in January that the U.S. would move its embassy to Jerusalem, and lawmakers have introduced a bill recognizing the holy city as the Israeli capital.

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Outgoing Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryPresident Trump faces Herculean task in first debate Trump, Biden have one debate goal: Don't lose Trump-Biden debate: High risk vs. low expectations MORE condemned the plans to relocate the embassy last week, saying such a move would lead to “an absolute explosion in the region.”

“You’d have an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region,” Kerry said.

“If all of a sudden, Jerusalem is declared to be the location of our embassy, that has issues of sovereignty, issues of law that would deem to be affected by that move and by the United States acquiescing in that move and that would have profound impact on the readiness of Jordan and Egypt to be able to be supportive and engaged with Israel as they are today.”

The Holy See issued a statement after the meeting with Abbas on Saturday, but did not weigh in on whether the U.S. embassy should be relocated. Instead, it emphasized the importance of maintaining the safety of the city, which remains a holy site for Jews, Christians and Muslims.